While many things have changed in recent months as a result of COVID-19, one thing that has remained relatively unchanged is Idaho Fish and Game continues to stock fish throughout the state. Spring and early summer are typically when stocking peaks, and despite the challenges that COVID-19 presents, this year is no exception.
“From a production and stocking standpoint, not much has changed for most of our hatcheries,” said state hatchery manager Gene McPherson.
Statewide, Fish and Game hatchery staff have continued to stock the vast majority of the waters they normally would. Aside from some added precautions (including closing hatcheries to the public, social distancing and ramped-up sanitizing practices in the workplace) it’s business as usual for Fish and Game’s hatchery staff, which is great news for the state’s anglers.
“Our hatchery staff are continuing to provide Idaho anglers with fishing opportunities during this difficult time,” McPherson added.
One major difference for Idaho anglers during the COVID-19 pandemic is that Fish and Game’s stocking schedule has been in flux, and hatchery staff have been unable to provide exact dates and locations for stocking events. As a result, people who rely on the Fish Stocking Forecasts and Schedules on Fish and Game’s website to scour for “hot spots” will see that there is no stocking scheduled in their region.
But that’s doesn’t mean that fish aren’t being stocked. On the contrary, it’s an almost-typical spring of stocking for Fish and Game, and anglers will have to go out and find fish the old-fashioned way.
All around the state, rivers, streams, community ponds, reservoirs and lakes continue to be stocked with rainbow trout, providing many anglers with opportunities to fish close to home while adhering to social distancing guidelines in Idaho.
Idaho Fish and Game hatchery staff are hoping anglers do just that.